Friday, February 22, 2019

Podcast 24 : The Seven Sacraments - Introduction

The Sacraments are signs of Jesus taking care of his sheep. This is episode 23, The Seven Sacraments.

Hello there, I want to welcome back once again to another lesson of All About My Catholic Faith. Hey, If you remember from our last lesson, I told you that things are really starting to get exciting in our lessons. We are on lesson number 23, so we've come a long way in learning what the Church has taught and what God has taught us throughout all of these years. Today we're going to start talking specifically about the Sacraments of the Church. We're going to learn an overview of the Sacraments, what the Sacraments are, what they do for us, and some consequences if we don’t stay in God’s grace.

Make sure you listen to this week’s lesson so you can learn a bit more about the Sacraments and also how you can get a free copy of Trent Horn’s book, Why We’re Catholic.

I’m very glad that you’re joining me as we continue on our journey to learn the teachings of Jesus and his Church that he started 2,000 years ago. I’m also super excited to have my son, Christopher join me again. So Hey Christopher, thanks for joining me. You got it! How have you been since our last episode? Did you get over your cold? Pretty much. I’m doing pretty good, just spent the last couple days at the coast, so you know it’s hard to go wrong there. That sounds good.

Let's start off as we always do with a few questions for you to think about during our lesson.

What are some things that Jesus does for his sheep?

What is a Sacrament?

Why do we need signs?

How can we lose the life that we received at our baptism?

Now that you have those questions in your mind let's get right into this lesson about the Sacraments with our first reading from the Holy Bible.

This is a reading from the Old Testament from The Book of Ezekiel chapter 34: verses 11 through 16.

For thus says the Lord GOD: Look! I myself will search for my sheep and examine them.
As a shepherd examines his flock while he himself is among his scattered sheep, so will I examine my sheep. I will deliver them from every place where they were scattered on the day of dark clouds. I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and every inhabited place in the land. In good pastures I will pasture them; on the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down on good grazing ground; in rich pastures they will be pastured on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest—oracle of the Lord GOD. The lost I will search out, the strays I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, and the sick I will heal; but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd them in judgment.

All right, very good. So do you know who loves you more than anyone else in the world? Uh, you and mom? Well, of course, we love you, your grandparents love you, your aunts and uncles love you, but our Lord God loves you, loves each one of us, more than anyone can even get close to understanding. Just as a shepherd in the field loves and cares for his sheep, God is always there to take care of us and he will never leave us alone. He's always doing something for us even when we don't realize it. You know, God wants us to have some signs in order for us to know that he is there and that he’s doing something for us. We have eyes, we have ears, we have noses, so we can see, hear, smell and touch signs that God sends our way. We often may feel that we need to hear, feel, or see signs that God is doing something for us because again we cannot actually see him directly. We need signs for us to understand that he is there and loves us all the time. Signs usually indicate something else is near. Smoke is a sign of fire, dark clouds are signs of rain, a siren, and flashing red lights are signs of an emergency, and a flag is a sign of one’s country. These signs and other signs are there to indicate something else that we can’t see, hear, or feel at this moment.

The signs that God gives us are called the Sacraments. Sacraments are the signs that God gives to you and to me to show us that Jesus is working in our souls to produce grace. A sacrament is a sign of grace and of Jesus Christ in three different ways. Grace was made possible, first of all, when Jesus suffered and died on the cross for us. This was a sign of grace and Jesus from the past. Presently, we have grace in our life because we are children of God from receiving Sanctifying Grace for the first time at our baptism. We see grace in the third way when we see the results of grace when we will be able to share in the glory of the risen Christ when we make it to heaven.

You know in John chapter 10, verse 10 Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” So just like the shepherd wants to help the sheep, Jesus came so that we can have even more life, more happiness, more love and everything else that is good for us. Once that God has given us his life, remember that is Sanctifying Grace when we are baptized, he takes care of it and each one of us as one of his sheep. He feeds us, he protects us, he heals us, and he wants us to make it to heaven to be with him and to be with all the saints. The sacraments are indeed signs, but they're not only just signs, they are also the actions of our blessed Lord that give us or increase in us the life of God, in our souls.

By God giving us the Sacraments, by us receiving the sacraments, we are strengthened, we become holier, we become even better children of God. So again, a Sacrament is an outward sign that was instituted, or put in place in order to give us Grace. Remember the first time that you received Grace, Sanctifying Grace, is when you were baptized.

I think I got that. It’s helpful to see that the Sacraments are signs of something else in our life. That makes sense.

How many Sacraments are there?

There are seven Sacraments. Remember the Catholic Church was the Christian Church founded by Jesus Christ, and it has lasted for all these years. The Catholic Church is still the One True Church. The One, Holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church. It’s the only Christian church, besides the Eastern Orthodox Churches, that has all seven Sacraments. So there you go, we have seven Sacraments and they start off with Baptism when we receive Sanctifying Grace. Baptism normally comes within a week or so after we’re born into our human life, and Baptism is being Born Again in the life of Christ. The other Sacraments come along during our life to help us in our personal life and our life in Christ’s Church.

After Baptism, we grow into young adulthood, we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation gives us the power to become adults in the life of grace. The grace that we receive at our Confirmation gives us the strength to profess our faith even when we are persecuted or we face other difficult times. This grace will allow us to be better examples for others in our life.

Every time we receive the Holy Eucharist, the body, blood, soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, we get even more grace. We need food to be properly nourished in our life, and the grace we receive from the Holy Eucharist nourishes our love for God and for each other. This grace is also important to help us not to be selfish and not to love yourself too much. The Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Jesus and absolutely nourishes our soul.

The next Sacrament is the Sacrament of Penance or Confession. When you’re sick or wounded, you’re often helped out by the doctor with his care and medicine that may be given to you. The Grace that you receive during Confession will help you cure the damage that has been done to your soul after you commit sins similar to how the doctor heals your body. This Grace will also help protect you from committing further serious sins, similar to how the flu shot may help keep you from getting sick.

During your life when you get older and need extra care and attention, you may receive more medical care or even special living arrangements to help you live more comfortably. The next Sacrament is Extreme Unction or Anointing of the Sick. This Sacrament will help restore the health of your soul, similar to extra nursing attention can help your body. The grace received during Anointing of the Sick will help you to accept sickness and even death as a cross to be embraced and will help you accept the will of God concerning your life. How do we receive the Anointing of the Sick? We receive the Anointing of the Sick when we are very sick or near-death. A priest will give us a special blessing with the special anointed oil to allow us to get more grace at that time.

If you become a priest or deacon and receive Holy Orders, this is another Sacrament and you will receive more Grace. This Grace helps the priest to fulfill his very important and sacred duties as well as to help him be a very good priest.

When you get married and get married in the Church, the Sacrament you receive is the Sacrament of Matrimony. You get more grace at this time. This grace helps married people to put up with each other’s defects and imperfections and helps them to fulfill their duties of the married life, especially bringing children into the world and raising them to be children of God.

So, all Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church give us Grace that helps builds us, make us stronger, and make us holier in this life so that we can make it to heaven. I have to tell you though, that you only receive the fullness of the grace from the Sacraments if you are properly disposed of receiving that Grace.

What do you mean by that, I’m not sure I understand that completely?

For example, let’s say you go to Confession. In order to receive the Grace during Confession, you need to be truly sorry for your sins and also have a determination or firm purpose of amendment not to commit that sin again. If someone went to confession and did not intend to stay away from that sin, or were not sorry for committing their sins, that person would not be properly disposed to receive the grace. God will still pour out the waters of Grace, but if a person is not truly sorry, then the pipe that the waters of Grace would flow to the person through would be clogged so the Grace may not reach the person.  Does that help?

Ya, I think I understand that better now. 

Great? Also let’s say a person is in a state of mortal sin and goes to a Sacrament, whether it's to get married, receive Confirmation, or receive the Eucharist, that person will not receive the Grace associated with that Sacrament.

We have a special name for two of the sacraments. The Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Penance are called the Sacraments of the Dead. The reason they're called Sacraments of the dead is that those sacraments give us life when we do not have God's life in us. So before we were baptized, we were not children of God, so we were basically dead, our soul was dead. When we receive Baptism we receive Sanctifying Grace. We are infused with God's life and we are brought back to life. The same goes, if we have committed mortal sin we have put up a roadblock and we are no longer in the state of grace, we are not any longer in God's good graces or in his life so we are dead, our soul is dead. When we go to confession and we confess our sins and we are forgiven by Jesus through the priest, we are then brought back to life, our soul is brought back to life.

Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony are the other five Sacraments. These are called Sacraments of the living because the purpose of those Sacraments is to give us more grace than we already have. Remember we can only get more grace through these Sacraments of the Living if we are in a state of grace with no mortal sins when we receive these Sacraments.

So, If we receive one of the Sacraments of the living, and we’re not in a state of grace, do I understand correctly that we don’t receive the grace, but do we still receive that Sacrament?

Terrific question! The Sacrament would still be valid, but would not have the full benefit of having the associated grace until that person went to confession to be restored to a State of Grace. Also, a person who receives a Sacrament of the Living without being in a State of Grace, that person would commit another mortal sin that is called sacrilege.

Here is an important thing about the Sacraments.  Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are Sacraments that can only be received once in your life. These Sacraments put an imprint on your soul, an imprint that can never be taken away. They can be dulled by sin, but when we go to confession and we get sanctifying Grace back fully, then those imprints of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are made bright again. So, when we are baptized, when we are confirmed, or when we get holy orders to become a priest, those Sacraments can only be received once.

Student: Can we lose God's life of grace?
We definitely can lose God's life or Grace when we sin especially and most importantly if we commit a mortal sin. Committing a mortal sin, remember is when we are putting a wall between you and Jesus, between you and God. It's basically like holding your hand up and saying I would rather sin than live the life with you Lord. So, of course, you don't want to do that. If you do choose to put up the wall between you and God, God won’t be happy, but he will let you choose to do so because he has given us free will.

Student: So, If we lose God's grace, are we able to get it back or is that wall permanent?
Well, thank God yes we can get it back. Remember Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. It is up to us to stay in his good favor to keep his life and to keep his grace in us by not committing sins throughout our life. Remember when we do commit sins, which we all do course, it’s not the end of the world because Jesus provides for us the Sacrament of Penance which is when we go to confession to confess our sins to the priest and we get to hear those wonderful words from the priest, “I absolve you of all of your sins.” At that point, we get God's grace back in our souls again, immediately, just like when we were baptized and we received God's grace. When we go to confession and we confess all of our sins we again receive God's grace immediately. This is such a great gift, such a great gift. Always remember, as I said in a previous lesson, go to confession often because it will help you, it will definitely help you.

Student: What's the name of the grace that sacraments give us? 
The Sacraments, all seven Sacraments give us Sacramental  Grace. We receive Sanctifying Grace when we were baptized and then we will receive Sacramental Grace every time we receive another one of the Sacraments in our life.

Student: You talked about the two different types of Sacraments, Sacraments of the Living and Sacraments of the Dead. Why again can you receive the Sacraments of the Dead only once?
The Sacraments of the Dead are Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. When you receive one of those Sacraments, your soul is imprinted with a special spiritual mark that is called a character, which God has designed to last forever. This character is a mark on your soul similar to putting a seal on soft wax. This stamp puts the image of Christ on your soul and gives you a share of the priestly powers of Jesus.

Student: Got it. What powers do you get?
I meant to go over that earlier, so I’m glad you asked. At baptism, you receive the power to share in the Mass and to receive the other Sacraments. When you’re confirmed, you receive the power to spiritually fight for Christ and with Christ against the enemies of the Church. If you are called and answer the call to enter the priesthood and receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders, then the power you receive is a full share in the priesthood of Christ, the ability and power to offer Mass, to forgive sins, and more.

Good questions, once again!

Let’s have a couple more short readings from the Bible. This first reading will be from the Gospel of Saint Matthew from chapter 28: vs 18, 19, and 20. This will tell us that the Lord will promise that he will be with his Apostles and his Church when he sent them out to give the sacraments in his name.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

The next reading is when the Lord promised to be with us and to help us. This is also from Saint Matthew's Gospel chapter 11: verses 25 through 30.

At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Next week we'll start talking in detail about each of the Sacraments. Next week we'll talk about the Sacrament of baptism. I know you know a lot about baptism because I told you about it already. I certainly hope you’ve been baptized, but if not you can definitely can. Feel free to send me questions to our website if you have questions on how to become baptized in the Catholic Church.

Remember there are seven sacraments. A great way to learn more about the Catholic Church is by listening to Catholic radio. I've learned so much by listening to Catholic radio and I'm blessed to have Catholic radio in my area. If you have a Catholic radio station in your area, I really encourage you to listen to the Catholic radio station in your area. You will be able to learn so much when people call in to ask questions when the host answers those questions. If you don't have Catholic radio in your area and you have the internet or a phone you can listen to a great Catholic radio network called the Relevant Radio. Relevant Radio has many many stations throughout the country, but If you're not in an area where you can receive those stations, you can listen online at or on your mobile device by downloading the Relevant Radio app. The app is wonderful, it has prayers, it has shows you can stream later or you can listen live as the shows are happening. Relevant Radio has helped many many people increase their faith and even bring people into the Catholic Church who are not Catholic.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Podcast 23 : The Beginning of Holy Communion & Marriage Laws

Jesus washed the feet of his Apostles before he gave them communion.  

This is lesson 22: The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th commandments of the Church.

Hello, welcome back to another lesson: All About My Catholic Faith. If this is your first time here, thank you very much and I truly hope that you’ll find that these lessons will teach you something new, strengthen what you already know, and help you to share your faith with others.

Things are really starting to get exciting now as we move into the next few commandments that the Church gives us. Then we’ll be able to start moving into the sacraments of the Church. The sacraments, among other things, are what makes the Catholic Church so special. Remember the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ 2000 years ago and it has continued unbroken for all that time until today. Jesus gave the authority to the Catholic Church to be the stewards of all of the seven sacraments.

I am very happy to have my son join me again today for this podcast lesson. How are things with you today, Christopher?

They’re pretty darn good, and I want to say that I’m glad you're making me a part of this podcast series. So, thank you.

You’re welcome, and thank you! I hope you get to feeling better. We’ve certainly had a lot of rainy and cool weather for the last few weeks, so maybe that explains it.

If I can, I would like to read a little bit from an email that we received on our website this past week.

Sure, go right ahead. That’ll be a great way to get things started this week.

We received this email through our website, from a listener named Shawn. He wrote: “Your podcast has been a breath of fresh air during this time when many Catholic young adults stray from the Church. I almost left the Church but found out the truth through prayer and research. Thank you and keep up the great work with your podcast.”

Wow, thanks for reading that. You know I been telling you that If I can just help at least one person either find their way into the Catholic Church or come back home to the Catholic Church, then perhaps I would have done something really worthy with my life. Well, I helped bring you into this world with my love and the help of your mom and thanks be to God, you are my wonderful son. So I guess that was pretty darn worthy.

Thanks, I’m glad you did!

Me too!

Student: Can I throw out a few questions for you to talk about?

Sure, what do you got?

When and how did the Apostles make their First Communion?
What did Jesus say about the need for communion?
And, why is it good for us to go to confession often?

Those are some good questions to get us going, so let's find out what the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th commandments of the Church are. Remember from our last lesson that these commandments are not the Ten Commandments that God gave us, but are commandments that the Church has given to us to help us stay on the right path towards happiness and ultimately, joining Jesus in Heaven.

The third commandment of the Church is that we are to confess our sins to the Church at least once a year. The fourth commandment of the Church is that we are also to receive Holy Communion at least once per year. The fifth commandment of the Church is that we are to contribute to the support of the Church. And the sixth commandment is that we are to observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.

Let's have our first reading from the Bible. This will give us a boost into this lesson. This is from the Gospel of St. John chapter 13, verses 1 through 14.

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.” So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.”

I really love that reading and what it's about, Jesus washing the Apostles feet. It's not just about Jesus washing their feet though, it's also about Jesus teaching the Apostles and each one of us that we need to have our souls perfectly clean in order to be pleasing to God. When we bathe ourselves or take a shower, we’ll normally wash our hair and our face, our hands, and our arms and legs but me may not always reach down all the way to clean our feet. Jesus was telling the Apostles unless you actually wash your feet you are not completely clean.

The same goes for your soul. You must be completely clean and free of sin if you want to be fully pleasing to God. None of us actually chose to come into this world. God gave us our life and I am certain that he must feel pretty darn good when we do things that he asks from us. I know how happy I am when you follow my suggestions about things we talk about, even if it may not sound great at first.

Student: Does this tie into the Apostle’s first communion?

The same day when Jesus washed the Apostles feet was indeed the time they had their First Holy Communion. This was at what we call the Last Supper. We'll talk more about communion and the Last Supper as we go into other lessons. Basically, however, the Lord gave the Apostles their first communion at the Last Supper and this was also the first Mass. Also at this time, he gave the twelve Apostles the power and the authority to do the same thing, so that all people in the future would be able to share in his body and blood.

As you might remember in a previous lesson, Jesus said, as he broke the bread, “take this and eat this and do this in memory of me.” Also when he gave them the wine he said, “do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus commanded the Apostles to do this, it wasn't just a friendly suggestion. This is what the Catholic priests still do today. They’ve been given that same power and authority, through their ordination to the priesthood, to carry out that same commandment that Jesus gave his Apostles at the Last Supper.

We need to and we should want to be perfectly clean, both physically and within our soul. Our soul must be in a state of grace before we go to Holy Communion and we should have no mortal sin on our soul when we go to Holy Communion.

As I read the commandments of the Church, at the beginning of the lesson, one of the commandments is that we are to take Holy Communion at least once a year. If we only take Holy Communion once a year, that should be during Easter time or Easter season. Remember though, we must be in a state of grace when we do that. Even though we must take Holy Communion at least once a year, we are able to and we certainly can receive communion every day. If you can't go to Mass every day and receive communion, you still need to go to Mass each and every week. This doesn't mean that you have to receive communion every time you go to Mass, though. However, if you are in a state of grace when you go to Mass, then you should receive communion because that’s the same as cleaning your feet. Receiving Holy Communion is cleaning your soul, getting rid of all your smaller sins that may still be on your mind and in your soul.

Student: I’m a little confused, I guess. You say that we should go to Mass every week, but If we’re not in a state of grace we shouldn’t receive communion. I thought the main point of going to Mass was to receive the Eucharist at communion.

A lot of people, I suppose, may think that if they are not in a state of grace, and can’t receive communion, then why should they bother to go to Mass. There are two main things that we benefit from by going to Mass. Remember that we are commanded in the Ten Commandments to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day. Even if you’re not in a state of grace, and actually especially if you are not in a state of grace, you should go to Mass every week. The action of fulfilling a commandment of God, who loves you, will benefit you greatly, and make God very happy with you. If you are not in a state of grace, though, you should not go up to receive the Eucharist.

Jesus told us that unless we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood we shall not have life within us. That’s from the Gospel of St. John, chapter 6 verse 54. We are taught and we truly believe that when we’re at Mass and when we receive communion, the bread and the wine have been transformed. They have been changed into the body and blood of Jesus our Savior. This is so very awesome. It’s the most special time of the Mass and it’s a culmination of our faith, the peak of our faith, the pinnacle of our faith. This is what Jesus wants us to do, so go to Mass regardless of the state of you're soul, but only receive communion if you're in the state of grace.

We do sin, everyone sins, that’s why we need Jesus and his Church. Venial sins, or the not so serious sins, do not keep us from receiving Holy Communion, however, mortal sins do keep us from receiving Holy Communion. If you are in a state of mortal sin and you receive Holy Communion then you’re actually committing another mortal sin on top of the mortal sins that you may already have. This is one of the reasons why we must go to confession at least once a year. We want to make sure that we don’t have mortal sins on our soul, and we need the help of confession, or reconciliation to give us the grace we need to stay away from all sin.

If we only go to confession once a year, then this should be around Easter time. I don't know about you but I really want to go to Mass and receive Holy Communion every week. I want to do my best to stay in a state of grace. To stay in a state of grace, I go to confession. You don't have to just go to confession once a year, you can go to confession every month or even every week, whatever it takes to keep yourself in a state of grace. Even if you don't have any mortal sins it’s still a great idea to go to confession very often because we do commit little sins which don't amount to a lot, but if we go to confession we can have our soul purified of even these smaller venial sins. It is also great to have the priests tell us that we have been forgiven by God of all of our sins, our small sins, and our great sins.

Another one of the commandments of the Church, that I mentioned, is that we should contribute to the support of the Church. What does that mean exactly? This means that if we are able to, then we should give money to the Church. The Church is just like any other operation, it needs money to pay for the electricity, and the heating, the materials and books, and the upkeep and cleaning of the grounds and buildings. The power company and the phone company sure don’t give your church that stuff for free and the book companies don't give your church the books for free, so your church has to pay for that. The only way your church will be able to pay for those things is if you give money during the collection. This is not all that the church uses your money for. They also use it to feed the hungry and help the needy and do other things for the community. It is a very special sign that when we give to the church and to the needy that we are really showing a true sign that we love God and our fellow humans.

The other Commandment that we are taught is that it is the ordinary law of the Catholic Church that we observe the marriage laws of the Church. We’ll go into more detail about marriage in a future lesson, but in general, in order for the sacrament of matrimony and the marriage to be valid, the marriage must be between one man and one woman. Marriage was raised to a Sacrament by Jesus himself during the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Jesus only made this sacrament valid if it was a marriage between one man and one woman. They must be married in the presence of an authorized Catholic priest and two witnesses in a Catholic Church.

It is frowned upon and discouraged for one Catholic to marry a non-Catholic. Why is that?  It’s not that we are against anyone who is not Catholic, and a marriage when only one person is Catholic can work out, but the odds are stacked against the couple on a few different levels. When a Catholic gets married, the couple must both agree to be open to bring new life into the world and to teach and raise their children they are blessed within the Catholic Faith. Sometimes a wonderful thing does happen and the non-Catholic will become Catholic. That is certainly a great thing for that person, the marriage and their family. However, it is more common that friction will build between the couple regarding how they practice their faith or not practice their faith. This may lead to the Catholic falling away from their faith, which is absolutely terrible for that person’s salvation, for their marriage, and for their family. Sometimes this friction may even lead to divorce. Another promise that a couple makes when they are married is that they promise to stay married until one of them dies. The sacrament of marriage is a lifelong bond between the man, the woman, and God. This marriage bond can never be broken. Jesus has told us that “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

Student: Can a man and a woman get married in a park or another church or in their beautiful backyard? Normally this is not allowed. The couple must be married in a Catholic Church. In certain circumstances, permission may be given for a couple to be married outside of a Catholic church. Normally, this permission can only be given by the bishop where the couple lives. This special permission is called a dispensation.

Student: I know you said that we’ll talk about the Sacrament of Marriage in a later lesson, but can I ask a few questions about the other parts of this lesson?

Sure, and if you have any questions about marriage, that’s ok too!

Student: Should only those in mortal sin go to confession?
No. It’s very beneficial for you to go to confession often even if you don't have mortal sin on your soul. This could be once a month or even every week. Going to confession often is very pleasing to God as it continues to cleanse your soul and give you the grace to go through life without falling into serious sin.

Student: Do we need to receive communion often? 
We should definitely go to Mass every week and receive the Eucharist at Holy Communion often. The Church says the minimum we should receive the Eucharist is once a year, and that should be during the Easter Season. Think of this though. If you only ate a nourishing meal once a year, you would likely get sick and probably die of malnutrition. The same can be said about only receiving the Eucharist at Holy Communion once a year. Your soul would be severely deprived of the spiritual food and the graces you get each time you receive Jesus in the Eucharist. You would become more and more likely to fall into mortal sin which then could keep you from entering Heaven. If you neglect to receive the Eucharist in a state of grace during the Easter season, this is considered a mortal sin in itself.

Student: Does Holy Communion help us to love God more?
Absolutely! Holy Communion is when we are taking Jesus, body, blood, soul, and Divinity into our body. It's not like we're just praying to Jesus or that we’re in the presence of Jesus at church, which of course are also awesome,  when we go to Holy Communion and take the body and blood of Jesus into our bodies this is a great way that we are able to become closer to God and to love and understand Jesus in a deeper way.

Student: How often are we supposed to confess our sins?
We should confess our sins at least once a year even if we're not in a state of mortal sin. If we are in a state of mortal sin then we should confess our sins to a priest as soon as we possibly can after the time that we do commit a mortal sin. It's a great idea to go to confession often, let's say once every two months, or even once every month will be better. Remember what you tell the priest in confession he is bound never to tell that to anyone else at all. I hope you've had a chance to go to confession recently. If not please do go. You will have a tremendous weight lifted off of your shoulders, believe me.

As we go into the next several weeks we will be talking about the sacraments of the Catholic Church. We’ll talk more about the Holy Eucharist, Confession, Marriage, Holy Orders which is becoming a priest or deacon, Baptism, Confirmation, and Extreme Unction which is anointing of the sick or dying.

I hope you’ll join us again next week and every week and I really hope that you're learning a lot from these lessons. I am so very thankful that I'm able to bring these lessons to you through this podcast.

Remember to go to Mass this Sunday and every Sunday and give to the church so they can help the needy and pay their bills. Also, make sure you go to confession if it’s been a while since your last confession. You can thank me later for that one!

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Podcast 22 : How Did the Early Christians Worship Jesus

The First and Second Commandments of the Church

The early Christians assembled for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

This is episode 21 -  The First and Second Commandments of the Church.

Hey there, welcome back to another episode of All About My Catholic Faith. I'm so very blessed to have my son Christopher join me again today for this podcast episode, so how you doing Christopher?

It was a long day at school, you know, but I’m doing just fine! How are you doing?

I'm doing absolutely great! It's a wonderful day, especially when I can be with you and even better when I can talk about the Catholic Faith. Christopher, I know you haven't been able to join me except for the last couple episodes so I’m glad you're here. For the benefit of anyone else who may not have listened to all the previous podcasts episodes, I’ll wanna give a brief rundown of where we've been.

We've actually been through a lot already, and it all started with the first lesson with the purpose of man's existence and then we went on to talk about God and His Perfections. The next area that we talked about was the unity and Trinity of God and then we rolled right into God’s creations and the angels. After that, we talked about the creation and the fall of mankind with Adam and Eve’s original sin, and unfortunately, we had to talk about actual sin. In the weeks after that we talked about the Incarnation and the Redemption and then we talked about the Holy Spirit and Grace. We then talked about the virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then we started talking about the Catholic Church. The next week we talked more specifically about the Catholic Church and about the four marks of the Church. The week after that we talked about the communion of saints and the forgiveness of sins and then after that, we talked about the resurrection and life everlasting.

So all the lessons we've been talking about are based on the Baltimore Catechism which is a catechism that was taught to children and young teens back in, you know, all the way up until let's say maybe 1970 or so when the church stopped using the Baltimore Catechism and started using other forms of catechizing our youth.

So all those lessons that I just recapped were from part 1 of the Baltimore Catechism which was about the Creed. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to those episodes, you can find them where you are listening to us now, or at our website,

The next section of the Baltimore Catechism talks about the commandments so we started talking about the two great Commandments and then we talked about the first of the Ten Commandments of God, “Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.” That led us right into a talk about honoring the saints, relics, and images. Then we started talking about the rest of the Ten Commandments until we wrapped that up last week with talking about the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments of God.

This week and next week we're going to talk about the Commandments of the Catholic Church herself. This week we're going to talk about the first and second of those commandments and then next week we'll talk about the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th commandments of the Catholic Church.

So, Christopher, I’d like to give and the other listeners some questions to think about as we go through the lesson, alright?

Sure, what do you got?

The first question is what did the Jews do on the Sabbath day?
The next question, what did the Jews do on big feasts?
And the next question to think about during this lesson is what change did Jesus make?

Before we can talk about the Church giving us actual commandments after the Ten Commandments, we need to find out why and how the Catholic Church was given the authority to even give us any commandments or laws. The Catholic Church has the right to make laws because Jesus gave the Church that authority. Jesus did that. In St. Matthew's gospel chapter 16 verse 19  when he said, “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” By saying this, Jesus was telling Peter and the Apostles that they had the keys to Heaven. Having the keys meant they had the authority to make rules to help all of us out.  Just like you having the keys to your house. With you having the keys to your house you have all the power and authority of who you want to let in. You make the rules because it’s your house, and you have the keys. Jesus gave the keys to the Church to St Peter and his Apostles. That’s why and how the Catholic Church has the power and authority to make rules and laws to teach us what Jesus taught.

Jesus wanted the Apostles to teach things that he taught in order to bring everybody in his Church, the Catholic Church, to Heaven to be with him forever, for all eternity.

Here's a quick Bible reading from The Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verse 42.

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.

So, we hear in this verse that the early followers of the Church were learning and teaching and breaking bread and praying. How did this all start? Before we get into this lesson let's see what the first two Commandments of the Catholic Church actually are.  The first commandment of the Catholic Church is for everyone to assist at Mass on all Sundays and holydays of obligation. The second commandment of the Church is to fast and abstain on the days appointed. We'll talk a little bit more about those in just a moment.

Do you know how the Mass started?

Student: I think so, but I’m not 100% sure.

Jesus and most of his followers were Jewish. The Jewish people worshipped God in a very special way by doing sacrifices, fasting, praying, and doing good deeds. On The Jewish Sabbath, which remember was Saturday, they always went to the synagogue to pray and sing hymns and to hear the teaching about God and how to live a holy life. On the special feasts, they would often go to the Temple in Jerusalem to take part in the great sacrifices that were being offered to God. When Jesus started teaching, he told his followers that there would be a change in the way things were being done.

Jesus gave his followers new ceremonies and a new sacrifice. Jesus explained this to them with a story that you can read in the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 5, verse 38. He told them that what he was giving them new was like giving them new wine. Jesus told everybody that this new wine must be put into new fresh wineskins. A wineskin is an old fashioned thermos or bottle made out of animal skin. That's what people put their wine in to keep it fresh so they could drink as they were walking through the hot desert or whatever they were doing. The problem is, is that if you put fresh, new wine into an old worn-out wineskin, the wineskin could burst open and all that wonderful wine could spill onto the ground. Jesus was saying that the new wine was the new way that he wanted the people in his church to start worshipping, and the new skin was going to be his Church. Instead of pouring new wine into the old wineskin he was going to pour his new wine or his new way, into a new wineskin, his new Church, the Catholic Church. Pentecost Sunday is when the Catholic Church officially started when the Apostles began going out and preaching and teaching the ways of Jesus and showing us all how to make it to heaven. Jesus also gave the Apostles explicit instructions on how to celebrate Holy Communion. We’ll talk more about that next week.

On Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit came down to give the Apostles the power and the knowledge to continue forever and ever preaching and teaching the way of Jesus. Jesus told them that his church will continue forever all the way until the end of time and that nothing would stop it not even the greatest evil from the Devil. That’s very comforting to know that if you're in the Catholic Church, you are in the very Church that Jesus started which has continued now, unbroken, through the bishop's, all the way back to St. Peter and all the way back to Jesus Christ himself.

Jesus told his followers that the new Church, the new way of doing things, would be similar to what they were used to doing in their Jewish celebrations, but it would be new. A new wineskin.

The Sacrifice of the Mass is our greatest celebration. It happens every Sunday and on every holy day of obligation.  Actually, it takes place every single day in most places throughout the world. The Sacrifice of the Mass that we go to every Sunday is actually a continuation of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross on Good Friday when he was crucified. Because of his crucifixion, we must sacrifice and go at least once a week on Sunday, to Holy Mass. I don’t really see it as a sacrifice to go to Mass. I truly look forward to going to worship Jesus. Remember we are commanded to do this in the Third Commandments to keep holy the Lord’s day. This was not only a rule for the Jews but also is a rule for the followers of Jesus. We must go to Mass every Sunday and all the holy days of obligation. This again is to show that we are willing to share in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on Calvary.

Student: If we don’t go to Mass on Sunday or holy days, is this really a sin? Good question. The answer is yes. If you miss Mass on Sunday or holy day of obligation because it's your own fault then it is considered a sin. Not only is this considered a sin, but also a very serious sin which is a mortal sin since it directly breaks one of the Ten Commandments. Remember if a person dies with any mortal sins that have not been confessed and forgiven, they may go to hell. You certainly don't want to have any mortal sins on your soul or conscious whenever you die because remember Hell is definitely the hottest place and you don't want to go there.

The Church has a wonderful thing called confession where we can go to the priests and be absolved or forgiven of all of our sins that we have committed. If we go to confession regularly then we will always be able to keep our soul in a state of grace. We’ll talk more about the Sacrament of Confession in a later lesson, but remember to go to confession often, because none of us know when that day will be here that we die. We don’t want to die without notice with unforgiven mortal sins on our soul. The best reason though, not to have sin or mortal sin on your soul is because you truly love Jesus.

Student: Can you talk about the holy days of obligation that we have? 
Sure! There are currently six holy days of obligations in the United States. They are Christmas Day, the day Jesus was born; Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, which is a special day that we celebrate Mary being the mother of Jesus, who is God, which makes Mary the Mother of God. Ascension Thursday is the next holy day and is 40 days after Easter when Jesus rose back to Heaven to join his Father. In August every year, we celebrate the Assumption of Mary. This is the day that the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken, body and soul into heaven at the time that she died. The next holy day of obligation is November 1st which is All Saints Day. This is the day after Halloween. You may not know, but if you do that's great, Halloween means All-Hallows-Eve or The eve before All Saints Day. The last holy day of obligation is the Immaculate Conception in December which is the celebration and the remembrance of the day that Mary was conceived in her mother's womb without any sin. Everyone else in the world, except Jesus of course, was born in a state of sin because of the original sin of Adam and Eve.

On these holy days, we are required and obliged to go to Mass. Sometimes a bishop in a particular country or area of the country will say that a particular holy day may be moved from its regular day to the closest Sunday. When this happens then on that Sunday we will have specific readings that pertain to that holy day. Remember on holy days we should go to Mass and stay away from very hard and servile work the same as we should be doing on Sundays.

Student: Thanks, that helps. I guess I’m ready for you to talk about fast and abstinence if that’s alright?

Alright, here we go!

The second commandment of the Church is that we should fast and abstain on the days that are designated. A fast is a day in which you give up some of your food. This is a sign of sacrifice, well, it’s actually a real sacrifice we make because it may cause you to be more hungry than normal. On a fast day, you may have one full meal and your other two meals combined shouldn’t be any larger than the total of one meal. Everyone who is in the Catholic Church who is at least 18 years old and not yet 60 years old and in good health should obey the rules of fasting on these special days.

Student: OK, I have some time yet before I have to fast, but can I if I want to?

You sure can. Anyone can observe the fast days. I would talk to your parents before you fast, but since I am your parent, I’m good with that!

A day of abstinence means on that day we should not eat meat. During every Friday during Lent, you should not eat meat. We do not eat meat on Fridays during Lent to show Jesus that we are willing to give up something that is very good that we like for love of him. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert with only bread and water. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday. We are not called to live only on bread and water, but our abstinence of meat on Fridays during Lent is our way to sacrifice as Jesus did in the desert. The rules for abstinence applies to those who have been baptized and are 14 years of age and older.

You look like you may have a few questions.

Student: You said that the Mass is a sacrifice and that we continue the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Does that mean that he’s being sacrificed again, at every Mass?
Not exactly. We have the Sacrifice of the Mass to remember and to continue the sacrifice that Jesus did on the cross at Calvary. This doesn’t at all mean that Jesus is being sacrificed again, and again at every Mass, instead we are taking part in the very same sacrifice from 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. That is just one thing that makes the Mass so awesome. We are placed right there, at the foot of the cross with his mother and the Apostle, St. John.

Student: That does sound pretty awesome. 

Student: Does the Church make laws without Jesus's help? 
No, Jesus helped the Church by sending the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and their successors, the bishops of today’s Church. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the Church has always been and always will be protected from officially teaching us anything that goes against the will of God. So you can be confident in everything that the Church teaches you.

Student: If we go to Mass only on some Sundays, are we obeying the law of the Church? 
Absolutely not. If we only go some Sundays we are disobeying the laws of the Church and the laws of God. We must go to Mass every Sunday and every holy day of obligation unless we just can't make it because we are too sick or for other extraordinary reasons.

Student: Can you tell me the six holy days again? 
Sure, the holy days of obligation, in which we are to go to Mass are: Christmas Day, December 25th; Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, January 1st; Ascension Thursday, which is 40 days after Easter: The Assumption of Mary, August 15th, All Saints Day, November 1st, and The Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

Student: On a day of fasting, how many meals can we eat? 
On a fast day, only one full meal can be eaten and the other two meals that you eat should be equal to or less than the total that you would eat in one full meal, so basically we should only be eating about one meal and then up to a second meal.

Student: You said that the first commandment of the Church was that we should assist at Mass on every Sunday and holydays of obligation. How can I do that if I’m not an altar server or in the choir?
Awesome, that’s a really awesome question! Assisting at Mass doesn't actually mean that you have to be an usher or an altar server, or be in the choir. It means that you should pay close attention to what is happening at Mass, and to read along or pray along with the priest during the Mass. We’ll talk in more detail about the Mass in later lessons. The Mass that was celebrated throughout the entire world prior to 1965 or so, is the Latin Mass, or the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. That Mass is prayed nearly entirely in Latin, the official language of the Church. Even with the priest praying in Latin, we can still all follow along by watching closely to what’s going on, reading along in the missal, and answering the priest with the appropriate responses. The same goes for the new form of the Mass, called the Novus Ordo Mass. We should still be following along closely to what the priest is doing and praying, and saying the parts of the Mass that are designated for us. Again, we’ll talk more about the Mass, including the Latin Mass in future lessons.  I just started going to the Latin Mass at our parish a couple months ago. I read a book by Scott Hahn a few years ago, called the Lamb’s Supper, where he said the Mass is the closest we can get to Heaven while we are here on Earth. When you go to the Latin Mass, and especially a High Mass, you definitely feel like you’re in the presence of God and all the angels and saints. You don’t just feel that the angels and saints are really there present at every Mass.

Let's hear a little bit more from the Bible. This will reinforce everything that we've been talking about in the lesson. This reading will be from the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 2, vs 41-42. This is about Jesus at the Feast of Passover.

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.

Here's another short reading from the Gospel of St Luke chapter 5 verses 37 and 38. This reading is about Jesus replacing the old sacrifice and ceremonies with the new.

Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.

Next week we’ll continue our lesson talking about the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Commandments of the Catholic Church.

Remember to go to Mass this Sunday and every week. God Bless You and we will talk again next week.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Podcast 21: The Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Commandments

Do I have to tell someone the truth, even it will hurt their feelings?

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I want to welcome you back to another episode of All About My Catholic Faith. My name is Scott and I am joined by my son, Christopher. Do you ever wonder why your Catholic education seemed to be lacking or even watered down? Once upon a time, not too awfully long ago, Catholic kids were taught the truths about Christianity and the Catholic faith using the Baltimore Catechism. There were a couple of Baltimore Catechism books that were used, one was geared towards the younger children, and the second was designed to dive a little deeper for older kids and teens. These certainly were not perfect, but pretty darn close, they teach the faith in a well organized and truthful manner. A lot of people have fallen away from their Catholic faith, and they will sometimes cite the reason that they just didn’t really learn that much about the faith when they were young, even though they may have attended Catholic school or CCD classes.

So in my podcast series here, I want to bring back those basic teachings. If you listen to this podcast, you will learn the faith like you should have when you were younger. It will also help you better teach the faith to those you love and together we can make our family, our community, our country and our Church holy again!

This is lesson 20. The 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments of God. You can’t take your riches from this life when you die, or can you?

So, Christopher, I’m wondering if you have anything that you want me to talk about in this lesson.

Sure. Can you talk a little about Jesus’s attitude about money and how this affects our standing with him?

Absolutely. Before I get into that, I’m going to read a little from the Bible to get us going into the lesson: This reading is from the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 6, verses 19-21.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

What do you think this reading from St. Matthew is trying to teach us today? Well, I think it's trying to teach us that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and that we must follow the example that he set for us. You know, Jesus could’ve had anything that he possibly wanted because after all, he is the second person of the Trinity. All the riches in the entire world could have been his. Jesus never wanted to come into this world to be rich though. He wanted to be poor so he could set an example for all of us, even the poorest people here on Earth. Jesus wanted to show everybody that they could truly be holy and make it to Heaven no matter what they had or didn’t have in their life.

Jesus was indeed born very poor. Remember he was born in Bethlehem in a simple stable where animals would eat and lay down to sleep. The stable where Jesus was born was very dirty and very stinky. You can only imagine how a stable would stink with all the cows and goats and lambs and all the other animals that must have been there.

Jesus grew up in the very simple and poor town of Nazareth. Jesus’s earthly father, Joseph, led a simple life as a carpenter making things for other people. Joseph set a great example for Jesus so he could, in turn, set a great example for the entire world.

Jesus set out on the mission that God the Father gave him with virtually no money. Jesus actually told his disciples to leave everything they had behind and follow him. They indeed did this without any money or riches because they didn't need this in order to follow Jesus and to teach others how to follow Jesus and make it to heaven. There are accounts that when Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, he did so without any clothes on at all. This was done to humiliate him even more than had already been done. We typically do see the crucified Jesus with a cloth around his midsection, but it’s very likely he had nothing on at all.

As I said earlier, we must always follow Jesus, follow his example, and trust in him in everything we do. If we do this, we’re promised by God to have everything that we’ll ever need. We can each be very selfish about the things that we get from God or things that we get from our hard work and I know I’ve been selfish many times during my life. Of course, we can also be very generous with our things. Being generous means to be very sharing and very giving of the things that we have. If we are generous with what belongs to us then this, in turn, will help us to pile up actual treasures for our time in heaven. That's pretty cool because when we die, we certainly want to live in heaven with everything that we possibly would need. We've been told that there will be no sorrow and we will have pure happiness in heaven.

You know every time that we do something generous here on Earth it's like we're sending a jewel or a gold nugget up to heaven to go ahead of us. We're actually giving those jewels directly to God every time we share something or do something generous here on Earth. The jewel that we're giving to God, by sharing and being kind and generous, is showing how much we love God and his children, our brothers and sisters in Christ. So the example in the story that we read in the Bible today from St. Matthew is really teaching us to share things that we have. If you have brothers or sisters or friends, make sure that you share your ideas, your talents, and anything else you have. Please work hard not to be selfish. Jesus did tell us that what we do for others is a true sign of how much we love him.

Another good lesson to learn from this reading is to not get angry if things get lost, broken, or taken away from us. Remember, these are only things, and they're only things here on Earth. What we should really be concerned with are the things we’ll have in heaven. Of Course, we're not going to really need anything in heaven because God will give us everything that we will possibly need when we are in heaven.

I want to get into the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments now. So let's say we find out what those Commandments are and see how they tie into the lesson we're talking about today.

The Seventh Commandment of God is “Thou shalt not steal.” What do you think we are commanded to do or not to do in the Seventh Commandment. Among other things, I believe we’re commanded to respect what belongs to others. Anything that belongs to others, whether its thoughts, ideas, money, toys, or other things they own, we’re taught by the Seventh Commandment to respect those things and not to take them away. The Seventh Commandment tells us not to steal, but this also means not to be a dishonest or cheating person or to damage others property.

The Eighth Commandment of God says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” To bear false witness means to lie about our neighbors. If we are bearing false witness against our neighbor we’re lying about our neighbor or spreading rumors about them. This, of course, would be very hurtful to anybody.

Jesus said, “I am the truth”. So if we claim to really love and follow Jesus we should always tell the truth, which means not to tell lies about or to our neighbor.

Again we are commanded by God to speak the truth in all things. You know sometimes, when we tell the truth, it may hurt someone's feelings. We're not trying to hurt their feelings by telling them the truth, but we should always be truthful. For example, let's say a person ate a piece of pizza and they have some pizza sauce dangling from their lip. You don't want them to go through the next hour with the pizza sauce hanging there on their lip now, do you? You want to be honest with them even though it may embarrass them. Telling them the truth will probably save them from even greater embarrassment later on.

The Ninth Commandment says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.” What in the world does that mean, you may ask. Covet means that you wish to get things unjustly. So, in this case, it means that if your best friend, neighbor, or complete stranger has a very nice and attractive wife or girlfriend, you’re not to attempt to harm their relationship by trying to gain that person for your own wife or girlfriend. Of course, this also goes for women. A woman should not covet their neighbor’s husband either. As the saying goes, “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander!”

The ninth commandment ties back to the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” that we talked about in our last lesson. I hope you remember that the Sixth Commandment is where God tells us to that we need to be pure and modest in our actions. We should respect our body since it is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and also those of the opposite sex by not having impure conversations, telling dirty jokes, looking at bad pictures or becoming sexually active before we’re married.

The Ninth Commandment tells us that we should not even willfully think about doing such impure acts against chastity that were talked about in the Sixth Commandment. A willful thought is different from a thought that just pops into your head. If you willfully think unchaste thoughts and we either enjoy those thoughts or we don’t do anything to get rid of those thoughts, we would be sinning against the Ninth Commandment. Satan wants to bring you down any way he can and an easy way that he uses to harm us is to put these unchaste thoughts in our head. Don’t worry though, because if you don’t want these kinds of thoughts in your head, you have someone much more powerful at your fingertips. Say a little prayer to Jesus that he takes away these type of thoughts from you, and then do your best to think about something else. It’s not always easy, but I know you can do it.

The Tenth Commandment says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.” Remember that covet means we don't wish for things others have, unjustly. We could want what another person has but that's different from being jealous of what a person has. This would be true whether we're talking about a person's house or their car, their toys, or their school they go to, or their family situation. Personal belongings of another person belong to that person and we should not be jealous or envious of what they have.

So that's a little recap of the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments of God.

I’m wondering if you have thought of any other questions for me.

I have a few if you don’t mind.

Student: Did Jesus care about riches? No, I wouldn't say that Jesus really cared about riches because he didn't need or want riches here on Earth. Jesus knows that being rich here on Earth with things or possessions is not important.

Student: Are prayers and good deeds heavenly treasures? I would say yes they are. Prayers and good deeds are indeed heavenly treasures and they will help build up more treasures in Heaven for when we get there. The more we pray for our friends and our family and for people who really need our prayers, and we do good deeds for other people. We’ll help build up our own treasures in Heaven.

Student: Do we really have to share things that we have with other people? Absolutely, we should be sharing our things. We should be generous with our things, talents, money, or anything that we have. It’s really great and a wonderful thing when we share the things that we have with other people. Just like right now, I'm sharing my knowledge that I have about the Catholic Christian faith and about Jesus with you. I really want to be generous with my knowledge and things that I've learned in my life so that you and others can benefit from the things that I've learned. Perhaps by me sharing these things, you'll become closer to God and you can teach those things, other people, too. I think a person should really want to share what’s most important in their life with others. If we keep what’s most important to us to ourselves and we don’t share, we are really being selfish, and that’s not what makes great friendships.

Student: Is cheating in class or in sports considered bad enough to break any commandments? Well, These things are indeed very dishonest. Cheating in class or in sports are definitely dishonest and these break the Seventh Commandment which says “Thou shalt not steal.” You know, when you're cheating you are stealing from that person or group of people because you're cheating them out of something that they might otherwise have had. They may have won the game or they may have had the best answer, but if you cheat you're taking that away from them and you're getting something dishonestly and unjustly.

Student: Is it okay to damage the property of others? Sometimes I feel angry and I feel like another person may deserve to have their things broken or damaged, but of course no, you can never damage things of other people. This would be a direct sin against the Commandments of God. We are commanded not to hurt people and not to damage their property or goods.

Student: Should we always speak the truth? Isn’t it better sometimes not to tell the truth? We are called by Jesus to always be honest with our dealings with people, so yes we should always speak the truth even if we risk hurting someone’s feelings or even possibly losing a friend. If we tell someone the truth with the love of Jesus in our heart, we will be doing a wonderful thing. We may even save that person from continuing in a sinful way of life which may eventually send them to Hell.

Student: Is it okay for us to be jealous or envious of others? Well of course not. We should never be jealous or envious of what people have, what they have earned, the things they know, the places they've been, the friends they have, or anything like that. You may feel that you want those things, but you should not be jealous, instead, you should work hard and do things that maybe you will be able to have those things one day. Remember though, building riches here on Earth is not the really important thing, it's doing things for other people to help build riches in heaven that is the most important.

Let’s have some more readings from the Bible. I think these readings will help tie everything together and help you understand why the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments are important.

This first reading is from the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 19 verses 16 through 24.  This reading will tell us what happened to the rich young man who was so too selfish.

Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

The next reading will be a little long, so I hope you’ll listen carefully. It’s a little long but very important, and it teaches as a very important lesson. This reading will be from the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 12 verses 13 through 34.

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” l He said to [his] disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

This next reading will be from the Gospel of St. Mark chapter 14 verses 55 through 59.

The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none. Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. Some took the stand and testified falsely against him, alleging, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build another not made with hands.’” Even so their testimony did not agree.

So, Christopher, did my explanations and the Bible readings help to answer the questions you had?

Ya, I think so. Thanks for helping me to learn more about our Catholic faith.

That’s great. Here's a recap of the Commandments that we talked about today. The Seventh Commandment is “Thou shalt not steal.” The Eighth Commandment is “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The Ninth Commandment is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.” And the Tenth Commandment is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's Goods.”

Remember, every time that we’re generous, we are actually laying a foundation of love in heaven.

This next week between now and next Friday, go out of your way to be generous with other people. In Mass this weekend when you give money in the collection remember that this money is going to the church to help people who are in need and who may not be able to have or do as much as you can. So maybe this week you can give a little extra to those who need it. This can really show Jesus that you can be generous with not only your time and talent but also with your money.

Please make sure you go to Mass this weekend and of course every week, where you will be able to be with Jesus and his followers. Remember the angels and saints are all there at Mass with us too. Make sure you pray every day, especially the Rosary, and of course, if you're not Catholic, remember you can always come to church with us.

I hope you'll keep listening to these lessons to keep learning why we love Jesus and his Church so much. If you know someone who wants to know more about the Catholic Church, whether they’re Catholic or not, please tell them about this series.

Next week we’ll start talking more about specific commandments of the Catholic Church that will help us better worship Jesus and serve each other. So until next time please pray for me and I'll pray for you. God bless you and goodbye for now.

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